Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani and his supporters locked up the office of mamlatdar of Jafrabad taluka in Amreli district briefly after finding that the officer was not present in his chamber when they went there to give him a memorandum on Thursday.
Dhanani, the Congress MLA from Amreli, held symbolic dharna in Bandar Chowk of Jafrabad town on Thursday morning to demand a re-survey of damage caused by flash flood of June 24 in Amreli and enhance relief package for the district. After the dharna, he and his supporters took out a rally to the office of Jafrabad mamlatdar to submit him a memoradum of their demands. However, when they reached there at 1:30 pm, mamlatdar Ranchhod Tundiya was not present in his chamber and angry workers closed the main gate of the office compound.
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“We had informed the officer in advance that we shall come to submit a memorandum. However, he does not seem to care for people. Since he was not in his office, we locked up the compound until the time police escorted him to the office,” Dhanani said.
However, Tundiya said he was away for lunch and alleged that the MLA did not come to his office on time agreed upon in advance. “He had said that he would come at around 1 pm. I waited for him half an hour more but he did not come. Since I am suffering from heart ailment and diabetes, I had to take my medicine and lunch. Therefore, I left for home. When I reached home, I received a call that the MLA had come and I immediately left for office,” said Tundiya.
But the drama continued for around half-an-hour, sources said. Police said the gathering had become unruly briefly.
“After learning that the mamlatdar was not in his office, the crowd tried to lock up the compound. But the officer reached the spot immediately and gate was thrown open,” Kamlesh Parmar, in-charge police inspector of Jafarabad said.
Incidentally, Dhanani had observed fast for 11 consecutive days last month in Amreli town demanding special relief package for the district. He had termed the Rs300 crore relief package declared by the state government as an insult of flood victims.He claims that the state government’s primary estimate of damage due to the flood in the district was to the tune of Rs1753 crore.
After he broke his fast, the MLA had announced that he would hold symbolic dharnas in all the 11 taluka of Amreli.
Jafrabad was 10th taluka he held demonstrations and gave memorandum to mamlatdar. Lathi is the only taluka of Amreli where Congress has not held similar protests.